Superintendent Conrad’s Friday Update – June 25, 2021

I hope that you are beginning the process of getting into summer mode! The school district is taking a brief pause between the end of the school year and the beginning of summer programming.  We are excited that our Extended School Year students and our Summer School students will be back in school on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

This will be the final Friday letter for this school year.  We will start up again in August.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us at the Superintendent’s office.

Summer Events
Please keep in mind these two informational summer webinars.

Moving Beyond COVID Webinar
Please join us in exploring some of the challenges and issues that might become apparent as we transition back to regular activities. This is an online support session for Bedford residents and Town/School Employees. Sara Hickey, LCSW, at Eliot Community Human Services will be the presenter. This is brought to you by the Bedford Health and Human Services Department.
Wednesday, June 23rd @ 7 pm Moving Beyond COVID Webinar Link

Depression Awareness Webinar
Families for Depression Awareness is presenting a free Adult Depression: Getting on the Path to Wellness as a Family webinar on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. In this webinar, Dr. Christine M. Crawford discusses the causes and symptoms of depression in adults, practical ways that caregivers can support a loved one in getting help and accessing treatment, and how caregivers can support their families during episodes of depression. Register to join us for a live webinar discussion or watch on-demand after it airs.

Commissioner’s Update (Repeated from 6/18/2021)
On June 16, 2021, Commissioner Riley updated superintendents about summer protocols, testing options for the fall, medical rooms, and the Acceleration Roadmaps. Earlier this school year we were told that masks would be required for summer school, on Wednesday the Commissioner let us know that while masks are recommended they are not required for adults and students during summer school. This includes school offices and the central office. Please know that masks and other personal protective equipment will be available at each school throughout the summer and into next school year.

During the same meeting Associate Commissioner Johnston let us know that DESE is working on testing options for the 2021-2022 school year.  These options may include pool testing, diagnostic testing, and close contact testing.  More information about this will be available in August.

The Commissioner also let us know that we will no longer need to have a separate medical room for suspected COVID-19 positive students.  Instead, they can be masked and kept at a distance from others until they can be sent home.

To review any of this information please go to the DESE website at https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/faq/.

Finally as was mentioned last week DESE has developed the DESE Acceleration Roadmap: Pathway to an Equitable Recovery.  There are actually two guides, one for classroom teachers and another for school leaders.  The Acceleration Roadmaps can be found on the DESE website at  https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/roadmap/

Finally, as we look to the fall our current expectations are that we will return to full in-person learning five days per week, that the mask requirement will become a mask recommendation especially for those who are not vaccinated and that we are not expecting to have any social distancing, class size, or gathering limitations in our schools. Out of an abundance of caution, we will continue to maximize airflow through our HVAC system, continue using MERV-13 filters, utilize HEPA filtration machines in all occupied spaces, stock and utilize hand sanitizing stations, make personal protective equipment available to anyone who wants it, and to do periodic disinfecting.

BPS Art Show
The 27th Annual Bedford K-12 Art Show will be held virtually this year. While it is certainly not a similar experience as our traditional in-person event, this online gallery allows student work to be displayed and enjoyed by all families and friends world-wide!

Thank you to our Art teachers who have been uploading thousands of student artwork to the online gallery.  The Virtual Art Show will go live on Monday, June 14, 2021 at  The 27th Annual BPS Art Show and will feature student work from Davis, Lane, JGMS, BHS as well as selected work from BHS alumni. Please be sure to visit the show to view the fantastic student artwork!

COVID-19 Vaccination
We are happy to report that the rates of vaccinations continue to grow! To date 61% of our JGMS student population and 65% of our BHS student population has been vaccinated. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

Food Bank
The Bedford Food Bank is looking for volunteers to bag food and other supplies.  Service at the Food Bank can be counted toward Community Service Hours for students.

Volunteers must be 15 years of age or older, able to manage repetitive lifting of up to 25 pounds, and commit to a somewhat regular schedule. This is a rewarding effort that directly benefits our Bedford neighbors!

For more information the Bedford Food Bank website at www.bedfordma.gov/BedfordFoodBank or send an email to healthybedford@bedfordma.gov and thank you for considering this opportunity.

As always, thank you for your patience, your participation, and your continued commitment to our schools,

Have a wonderful summer!


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